Written by: TonyMyHomie
If you were to search Youtube, for ” Ben Barber from Edison”, one should most likely find a slew of videos, of the person I always thought was going to be the next Micheal Vick. ( yeah, my boy Ben made that number 7 look really nice, with his jukes and moves.)
But Ben Barber wasnt just the star of our football squad; he was also my friend…type of friend that you find yourself loving like a family member.
SMH. Damn, I sure do miss that dude. Last time him and I spoke, it was over facebook. He, was like three years into fatherhood, while as for me, I was (at that time) seven years into my life sentence.
I write this prose with the intentions of not just telling the world about how close him and I were, or how much I enjoyed being around him when the girls were near; naw, the reason I writing this, is because I want the world to know about the day I went to church… with Ben and his family.
One weekend, I staed over Ben’s modest flat off of telegraph. And on that Sunday morning I gladly accepted his mothers invitation to their church service. I like going to church, despite the absence I had from its pews during that time. I remember hoping, as Ben mom drove through OldTown, that it was going to be some cute girls there, that and of course a plate of crackers and grape juice.( I be hungry, homes’)
I didnt get the pleasure of meeting any chicks, or even nibbling on any food. However, I did meet their pastor.
Ben’s church, wasnt like any other church I had ever experienced. I recall that room we entered in that place of worship. And in that room, was where we were going to hear the word of God, and its size, seemed to be more suitable for an AA meeting, rather than a church’s congregation; but hey( I shrug) who needs a large room, just to hear a big message.
I remember how Ben and I were sitted. I was next to him, as he sat by his mother, and Levi- his little brother-fidgeted with some papers beside her. The sitting arrangement, made it easy for my dude Ben to grab my shirt by the sleeve and lift my arm, after an almond hued man stood in front of us and asked with a smile who were there for their first time. I remember smiling at Ben’s foolishness as I kept my fourteen-year-old hand in the air.
I remember the man acknowledging me with a welcoming gesture and some brief queston about my age and where I attended school; all of which I answered with respect..like my mother had taught me. Everything seemed normal..seemed fine; that was until something made that man look back at me, right before opening his sermon.
And as you can see, what came out his mouth to me next, was something I could never forget.
He looked at me with a look I cant describe verbally, and with a stern point at me he admonished, what ”something” had apparently whispered on his heart to tell me.
” Your going to be something special. But the devil is going to try his hardest to prevent you from being who God needs you to be.”
I wonder if Ben remembers that day? I hope he does, because that would make the truth of this blog so much more interesting.
Ay, Ben, please, if Im wrong about this, do tell the world that Im a lil’ off. But Im not.
Thats what that man said to me; to a stranger; to a young teenaged boy, whom he’d never encountered before that sunny day.
So strange isnt it?
What would make him say that to me? And to ponder on that answer gives me the chills. He said that to me as if he could foresee the drugs, the guns, the robberies and the rapes.
First Pac..then the Pastor I never meet. Both, giving me signs and divine affirmation that Im really destined for more on this earth, than to rot away in some bigot’s prison cell.
I wish I knew that man’s name. Come to think about it, I hardly could help making a composite sketch of him, if my life depended on it; thats how brief our encounter was. But as you can see the 2 hours I sat in that small church, was all the time I needed to be effected, by those words he spoke to me.
SMH. Life is the best teacher; but only to the ones who allow it to be. Someone once told me that.
And if I could say something to that pastor today…I wonder what it would be?
Maybe, you were right. But knowing me, I would immediately follow that with a certain certainity, which would be my truth, and my truth is this: THE DEVIL MIGHT’VE BEEN WON BATTLES, BUT HE DAMN SURE AINT GOIN CLAIM VICTORY IN THE WAR.
My Struggle, continues.
If you would like to reach out to this writer, he can be reached through Jpay.com/ Tony Lewis 98308( Kansas Department of Corrections)
Categories: Tony Lewis